Dallas-based Paul Quinn College is launching its Urban Work College Network for the upcoming school year with a new location in Plano.
PQC-Plano is the first site of the Urban Work College Model, a program created by Paul Quinn to give students access to quality jobs through higher education. NTT Data Services, Liberty Mutual, Ampex Brands, FedEx Office, J.C. Penney, JPMorgan Chase, McDonald’s, and Aimbridge Hospitality partnered with Paul Quinn for the expansion.
First tested in 2013, the model intends to decrease loan debt and increase post-grad opportunities by providing students with paid on- and off-campus internships up to 15 hours a week. Upon graduation, students can then enter the real world with less than $10,000 in debt and skills applicable to the 21st century job market. All founding partners of the Plano campus have committed to offering corporate internships, 50 collectively so far, to Paul Quinn students.
“When we think about growing Liberty Mutual, we leverage our university partners to sustain the growth needed to keep candidates coming to the company,” Maura Quinn, AVP of campus recruiting for Liberty Mutual, said in a release. “We want to fuel innovation in the classroom, so we build partnerships with schools like Paul Quinn College.”
To decrease overhead costs usually associated with a traditional campus infrastructure, PQC-Plano will place students in existing Plano apartments and use space donated by its partners for classes. Paul Quinn President Michael Sorrell says the model represents the new direction of higher education in the U.S. because it combats the three biggest issues students face: a rising cost of education, opportunities to work in real world environments, and access to lasting experiences that allow them to both think and do.
“Paul Quinn College’s arrival to the ‘city of excellence’ is a prime example of synergy done well,” Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said. “Educators, the business community, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders joining with a laser focus on one common cause—providing opportunities to transform the lives of our youth.”
LaRosiliere said that since taking office in 2013, his dual vision for the community has been economic prosperity and high quality of life. The opening of Paul Quinn will help Plano stay ahead of the curve and hopefully add to the local workforce, he added.
“Mayor LaRosiliere, the city of Plano, and Paul Quinn College all speak the same language,” Sorrell said. “That language is the language of vision, of hope, of possibilities, and of our next always being better than our now.”
Paul Quinn College is a faith-based liberal arts college inspired by the African Methodist Episcopal Church and is the first urban work college in the U.S. Paul Quinn hopes the Plano expansion will lead to a nationwide network of campuses with this same model. PQC-Plano is expected to be open for the 2018-2019 school year.